Li-Cycle will build a 10,000 mt/year lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Harnes, France, marking the third facility it now plans to develop in Europe, the company said March 27.
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The facility is set to begin operations in 2024 and will have the potential to boost capacity up to 25,000 mt/year in the following years, according to a statement.
"The growing lithium-ion battery ecosystem in France represents one of Europe's largest battery end-of-life and cell manufacturing markets," Li-Cycle said, adding that Harnes is located in a region "where large global automotive OEMs have an established presence, and where plans to build three battery gigafactories have recently been announced."
The Toronto-based battery recycler and prospective secondary battery metals producer currently operates four recycling facilities in North America, known as "spokes," that process used batteries and battery scrap to yield black mass. Black mass is an intermediate product that contains recoverable battery materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, copper, and graphite.
Later this year, Li-Cycle could begin operations at its first black mass processing facility, known as a "hub," in Rochester, New York. The hub could ultimately ramp black mass processing capacity up to 35,000 mt/year and produce up to 8,500 mt/year of lithium carbonate, 48,000 mt/year of nickel sulfate, and 7,500 mt/year of cobalt sulfate.
The newest planned facility in France will be set up as a battery recycling spoke and will join Li-Cycle's growing footprint in Europe, which will include similar plants in Germany and Norway. The German facility will be Li-Cycle's largest overall recycling plant with a processing capacity of 30,000 mt/year.
In support of its operations in France, Li-Cycle said it also signed a definitive agreement to provide battery recycling services through 2030 to the KION Group, a global provider of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions.
"Consistent with our strategy, Li-Cycle continues to scale in lockstep with our customers," said Li-Cycle co-founder and Executive Chairman Tim Johnston. "As we advance the deployment of our highly replicable and proven spoke and hub model into the European market, our spoke in France will better position us to support KION and the accelerating market growth in the country."